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Cyborg gel implant fights diabetes with light - tech - 20 October 2013 - New Scientist

Cyborg gel implant fights diabetes with light - tech - 20 October 2013 - New Scientist | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it
An implant that responds to light – or that glows in the presence of certain compounds – could reduce the need for some painful medical
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Chasing the Future
information related to new technologies & innovation, developments in science and space exploration
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33rd Square | Futuristic Tube Transport System Looks To Speed Passengers Around The Globe

33rd Square | Futuristic Tube Transport System Looks To Speed Passengers Around The Globe | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it
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Back-up brains: The era of digital immortality

Back-up brains: The era of digital immortality | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it
How do you want to be remembered? As Simon Parkin discovers, we may eventually be able to preserve our entire minds for generations to come – would you?

Via Carol Mei-Lan Morikawa
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Old planes refurbished to offer taste of luxury

Old planes refurbished to offer taste of luxury | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it

The select handful of guests dressed in evening wear bracketed their gourmet dinners with caviar and baked Alaska and washed them down with 16 cases of chilled Dom Perignon poured smartly by liveried stewards.

They lounged in roomy seats, touched up their makeup in vanity mirrors in the lavishly appointed bathrooms, and chatted while the attentive stewards made up their beds for the night.

That’s what high society looked like in 1946. The highest society, in fact, since this star-studded party was aboard the most lavish commercial passenger airplane ever built: the Lockheed Constellation, “Queen of the Air,” which soared only briefly before speed trumped comfort with the advent of the jet.


Via Pol Bacquet
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Dancing, talking robots show off at Madrid congress

Dancing, talking robots show off at Madrid congress | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it
Hundreds of robotics experts and their whirring, flashing robot creations gathered in Madrid on Wednesday for a top world congress on humanoid technology.
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Privacy is dead, Davos hears

Privacy is dead, Davos hears | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it
Imagine a world where mosquito-sized robots fly around stealing samples of your DNA. Or where a department store knows from your buying habits that you're pregnant even before your family does.
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In theory, the Milky Way could be a 'galactic transport system'

In theory, the Milky Way could be a 'galactic transport system' | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it
Based on the latest evidence and theories our galaxy could be a huge wormhole (or space-time tunnel, have you seen 'Interstellar?') and, if that were true, it would be 'stable and navigable'. This is the hypothesis put forward in a study published in Annals of Physics and conducted with the participation ...
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Walking on Mars: NASA, Microsoft Explore Red Planet with Wearable HoloLens

Walking on Mars: NASA, Microsoft Explore Red Planet with Wearable HoloLens | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it
NASA is planning to do science operations with the Curiosity rover using software co-developed with Microsoft for its new wearable technology, the HoloLens.
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Silver nanowires demonstrate unexpected self-healing mechanism

Silver nanowires demonstrate unexpected self-healing mechanism | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it
With its high electrical conductivity and optical transparency, indium tin oxide is one of the most widely used materials for touchscreens, plasma displays, and flexible electronics. But its rapidly escalating price has forced the electronics industry to search for other alternatives.
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Elon Musk Donates $10M to Abort the Machine Overlords | Hacked

Elon Musk Donates $10M to Abort the Machine Overlords | Hacked | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it
The Future of Life Institute announced that technology inventor Elon Musk, creator of Tesla and SpaceX, has decided to donate $10M to the Future of Life Institute to run a global research program aimed at keeping Artificial Intelligence (AI) beneficial to humanity.

Many leading AI-researchers have signed an open letter calling for research aimed at ensuring that AI systems are robust and beneficial, doing what we want them to do. Musk’s donation aims to support precisely this type of research. He said:
“Here are all these leading AI researchers saying that AI safety is important. I agree with them, so I’m today committing $10M to support research aimed at keeping AI beneficial for humanity.”
Also read: Research Priorities for Artificial Intelligence – Open Letter
Demis Hassabis, Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman, co-founders of DeepMind Technologies, which was recently acquired by Google, said:
“Dramatic advances in artificial intelligence are opening up a range of exciting new applications. With these newfound powers comes increased responsibility. Elon’s generous donation will support researchers as they investigate the safe and ethical use of artificial intelligence, laying foundations that will have far reaching societal impacts as these technologies continue to progress.”
The $10M program will be administered by the Future of Life Institute (FLI), whose mission is to catalyze and support research and initiatives for safeguarding life and developing optimistic visions of the future, including positive ways for humanity to steer its own course considering new technologies and challenges. The Institute received seed funding from Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn and Matt Wage.
The Coming Machine Overlords
Elon Musk
After the publication of Oxford philosopher Bostrom’s book about the dangers of “superintelligent” AI, Musk expressed fears about the future of AI. In August, he tweeted that artificial intelligence could be more dangerous than nuclear weapons and in October, likened it to “summoning a demon.” Cosmologist Stephen Hawking told the BBC in December that AI could “spell the end of the human race.”
Musk’s generous donation has been reported by several international media outlets, including the Washington Post with an article titled “Elon Musk’s fear of Terminators just netted researchers $10 million.”  In a less sensationalist story, Popular Science notes that Terminators and superintelligent AIs are not even mentioned in the FLI open letter that, on the contrary, presents a sober and remarkably even-handed look at how AI researchers can maximize the potential of this technology. Popular Science points the finger at the often sensationalist attitude of the popular tech press:
“Affixing a headline that conjures visions of skeletal androids stomping human skulls underfoot turns complex, transformative technology into a carnival sideshow.”
I don’t entirely agree, because a strong title with suggestive word pictures is often what makes people read a story about important things, which they wouldn’t read otherwise. How do you like my title?
Though the FLI letter is open for the public to sign, I didn’t sign it because I think that important progress in AI, including the development of smarter-than-human AI and superintelligence, can only emerge from free, spontaneous and unconstrained research. I don’t disagree with the [...]
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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, January 23, 9:26 PM

It is important to keep pace as best as we can with the tech changes emerging around us.

 

@ivon_ehd1

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Police Are Using Radar Devices To See Inside Homes | Hacked

Police Are Using Radar Devices To See Inside Homes | Hacked | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it
In December 2014, in a federal appeals court in Denver, officers made it known they had used a radar device in order to “see through” walls before entering the house and arresting a man wanted for violating his parole. Enter the RANGE-R; a handheld radar device used by U.S. law enforcement agencies to detect movement behind walls.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Josh Moff testified he used a Range-R to detect that someone was inside. At least 50 U.S law enforcement agencies have equipped their officers with the RANGE-R and have been doing so for over two years. Federal contract records show that the Marshals Service began buying the RANGE-R in 2012 and spent at least $180,000 on the devices.
The RANGE-R looks like a fancy stud finder and uses three antennas, two sending signals and one to receiver. When placed on a wall, the device transmits a radar pulse through the wall and reads back the waves returned. No map or diagram of the inside is displayed. Instead, the device detects movement and can tell you how far away an object is. The RANGE-R does not work through metal but, according to their site, it can
“penetrate most common building wall, ceiling or floor types including poured concrete, concrete block, brick, wood, stucco glass, adobe, dirt, etc.”
Public Left Out
The agencies have been using these devices with little notice to the courts and without any disclosure to the public as to when the devices are used. A judge in Denver expressed concerns that agents had used the RANGE-R without a search warrant and warned that,
“the government’s warrantless use of such a powerful tool to search inside homes poses grave Fourth Amendment questions.”
Ideally these devices can be used to keep officers safe when storming buildings or rescuing hostages. However, privacy advocates and judges alike have expressed concerns about how these devices are used and why they have been doing so without public review. The use of this device without a warrant appears to stand in defiance of the 2001 Supreme Court ruling that Constitution generally bars police from using thermal imaging to scan the inside of a building without the use of a warrant. The ruling specifically noted that it also applied to radar-based systems that were in development.
“The idea that the government can send signals through the wall of your house to figure out what’s inside is problematic. Technologies that allow the police to look inside of a home are among the intrusive tools that police have.”
– Christopher Soghoian, the American Civil Liberties Union’s principal technologist
This is another case of military technology being adopted for civilian policing. RANGE-R is not the only device that peers through walls. Other devices exist that are more advanced and capable of displaying a three-dimensional layout of where people are located inside the building. These devices were designed for the use in Iraq and Afghanistan and are making their way into the hands of state and federal officers.
When U.S. Marshals Services tracked a man, wanted for violating his parole, to a house [...]
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Flying robots to start serving in restaurants by end-2015

Flying robots to start serving in restaurants by end-2015 | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it
TODAY reports: Infinium-Serve, the autonomous flying robotic waiters, will be first launched at one of Timbre Group’s five outlets in Singapore.

Via Maurizio [ITA]
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Quantum Teleportation Reaches Farthest Distance Yet

Quantum Teleportation Reaches Farthest Distance Yet | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it
Physicists have teleported a light particle 15 miles (25 kilometers), making it the farthest quantum teleportation yet.

 

Advances in quantum teleportation could lead to better Internet and communication security, and get scientists closer to developing quantum computers. About five years ago, researchers could only teleport quantum information, such as which direction a particle is spinning, across a few meters. Now, they can beam that information across several miles.

 

Physicists can't instantly transport matter, but they can instantly transport information through quantum teleportation. This works thanks to a bizarre quantum mechanics property called entanglement. Quantum entanglement happens when two subatomic particles stay connected no matter how far apart they are. When one particle is disturbed, it instantly affects the entangled partner. It's impossible to tell the state of either particle until one is directly measured, but measuring one particle instantly determines the state of its partner.

 

In the new, record-breaking experiment, researchers from the University of Geneva, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the National Institute of Standards and Technology used a superfast laser to pump out photons. Every once in a while, two photons would become entangled. Once the researchers had an entangled pair, they sent one down the optical fiber and stored the other in a crystal at the end of the cable. Then, the researchers shot a third particle of light at the photon traveling down the cable. When the two collided, they obliterated each other.

 

Quantum information has already been transferred dozens of miles, but this is the farthest it's been transported using an optical fiber, and then recorded and stored at the other end. Other quantum teleportation experiments that beamed photons farther used lasers instead of optical fibers to send the information. But unlike the laser method, the optical-fiber method could eventually be used to develop technology like quantum computers that are capable of extremely fast computing, or quantum cryptography that could make secure communication possible.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald, Maurizio [ITA]
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Keith Wayne Brown's curator insight, December 10, 2014 1:48 PM

the future information

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Google's Hydraulic Humanoid Robot Just Got Stronger, Quieter, and More Mobile

Google's Hydraulic Humanoid Robot Just Got Stronger, Quieter, and More Mobile | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it
The Atlas robot designed by Boston Dynamics got a makeover for the new year.

Via Maurizio [ITA]
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Why the modern world is bad for your brain

Why the modern world is bad for your brain | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it
Multitasking is an essential skill in the era of email, text messages, Facebook and Twitter. But, argues neuroscientist Daniel J Levitin, it’s actually making us less efficient

Via Spaceweaver
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New fibers can deliver many simultaneous stimuli

New fibers can deliver many simultaneous stimuli | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it
Implanted into the brain or spinal column, they can transmit drugs, light, and electrical signals.

Via Gust MEES
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Gust MEES's curator insight, Today, 9:21 AM

Implanted into the brain or spinal column, they can transmit drugs, light, and electrical signals.


Jocelyn Stoller's curator insight, Today, 10:38 AM

The beginning of the Holodeck . . .

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Welby: Artificial Intelligence and gene therapy could hand super-rich ever more power

Welby: Artificial Intelligence and gene therapy could hand super-rich ever more power | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it

Archbishop of Canterbury’s dystopian vision of robot future amid Wall Street address condemning growing gap between rich and poor.

John Bingham,, 23/01/2015


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Telomere extension turns back aging clock in cultured human cells, study finds

Telomere extension turns back aging clock in cultured human cells, study finds | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it
A new procedure can quickly and efficiently increase the length of human telomeres, the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes that are linked to aging and disease, according to scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
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Your future office desk may remind you, hey, to move it

Your future office desk may remind you, hey, to move it | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it
Workers in all industries know by now that having a 'desk' job might have its perks but frequent exercise is not one of them. Ample warnings from health experts have been headlined in the press reminding workers that in their typical work days, their muscles may be burning less fat and blood flowing ...
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Scientists 'bend' elastic waves with new metamaterials that could have commercial applications

Scientists 'bend' elastic waves with new metamaterials that could have commercial applications | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it
Sound waves passing through the air, objects that break a body of water and cause ripples, or shockwaves from earthquakes all are considered 'elastic' waves. These waves travel at the surface or through a material without causing any permanent changes to the substance's makeup. Now, engineering researchers ...
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Porsche Just Released Another Version Of The 911— And It Looks Amazing

Porsche Just Released Another Version Of The 911— And It Looks Amazing | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it
The special edition Porsche 911 GTS Club Coupe will celebrate Porsche Club of America's 60th anniversary.
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Legally Blind Woman Sees Her Baby For The First Time

Legally Blind Woman Sees Her Baby For The First Time | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it
Kathy Beitz has been legally blind since she was a child, and she desperately wanted to be able to see her son on the day he was born. So the eSight Corporation -- a company that produces special glasses that give legally blind people the ability to ...
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Trans-Human Bodies and Post-Human Sex | Hacked

Trans-Human Bodies and Post-Human Sex | Hacked | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it
Transhumanism is not a particularly coherent movement, and you’ll find many disagreements between individuals in the transhumanist “herd of cats.” In the last few years, there has been a growing divide between “leftist” Transhumanists and “right-wing” (primarily Libertarian or Laissez-faire capitalist) Transhumanists.

In this divide, there seem to be more leftists in Europe, and more rightwingers in the US. Most people who label themselves left-oriented (or progressive) Transhumanists seem to be social-democrats with a soft spot for European political values.  The circles around Ray Kurzweil and the Singularity University can be characterized as relatively corporatist (which does not necessarily imply a desire for free markets these days).
There are other growing divisions in Transhumanism. The bigger Transhumanism gets, the more it seems to generate heated international debates and some old-timers in the field meet these diatribes with amusement. For the Paleo-Transhumanist crowd, heated debate is quite enjoyable until the backchatter turns feudal. Since most Transhumanists are little else than fans of the core ideas, Transhumanism is in large part about endless talk on various forums, gatherings, and Facebook.
Transhumanism Is Gradually Catching On Worldwide
Essentially Transhumanism unifies Science Fiction fans, Cryonics-advocates, Life Extension advocates, Space Industrialization radicals, Political Radicals, Technology fetishists and similarly “oddly spotted memetic predators.”
People in Transhumanism tend to be colorful, a bit narcissistic and convinced they bring a unique signal to the movement. Many people who discover Transhumanism tend to conclude “I have been thinking this kind of stuff all along” and feel right at home in the ongoing interchange.  Transhumanism mixes the various outré viewpoints of its adherents in a complex world view. Transhumanists believe that the various components of their personal ideologies add up to expectation about technology and the future. Some Transhumanists believe we’ll see radical progress in our lifetimes. Some Transhumanists believe that technological progress will far exceed anything we have seen in the last few decades and will culminate in the often quoted revolutionary transition that has become known as “The Singularity.” More transitional Transhumanists postulate something like a Singularity in the second half of the 21st century, while more radical Transhumanists expect a completely uncontrollable technological runaway as soon as ten or fifteen years from now.
Also read: An Irreverent Singularity Funcyclopedia, by Mondo 2000’s R.U. Sirius
Transhumanists tend to be cautious on whether or not people can stop (or legislate) runaway technology. Libertarian minded Transhumanists insist that any attempt of the state, to constrain various technological revolutions, will only add unnecessary social pain to the already convulsive change and want less state, no matter the consequences. More socialist-minded Transhumanists often debate solutions such as Basic Income to mitigate the social upheaval that is almost certain to emerge in the next decades. Most Transhumanists think the “spiking” effect in technology and progress will be quite difficult to control, and some Transhumanists might even concede that, as humanity staggers ever closer to The Singularity, a lot of people might end up in considerable distress, or die.
Some Transhumanists imagine “Existential Threats” and large numbers of human beings dying as a result [...]
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Scientists Create Biosensor Machine That Can Smell Better Than Humans | Hacked

Scientists Create Biosensor Machine That Can Smell Better Than Humans | Hacked | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it
A collaboration of scientists and academics from the University of Manchester, England, and the University of Bari, Italy, have made a breakthrough in biosensor research recently. According to a report published in the Nature Communications journal, they’ve created a machine that can smell better than humans.

Every scent and odor are made up with specific patterns that the human nose differentiates. When people smell lavender, they’re able to distinguish it from the smell of deviled eggs. By using a combination of proteins, also known as odorant binding proteins, and coupling them with transistors, the machine can differentiate the different smells better than the human nose.
“It has been challenging to get machines to be able to differentiate between smells that are mirror images of each other, which was a real barrier to creating machines which are able to smell as well or better than humans,”
said Professor Krishna Persaud, lead author of the research paper.
The Real-World Potential for the Biosensor Machine
The report is a breakthrough for the biosensor technology industry, although its incredibly dense in scientific language.
“Peripheral events in olfaction involve odorant binding proteins (OBPs) whose role in the recognition of different volatile chemicals is yet unclear,” the report states.
Here’s where the language gets thick though,
“Here we report on the sensitive and quantitative measurement of the weak interactions associated with neutral enantiomers differentially binding to OBPs immobilized through a self-assembled monolayer to the gate of an organic bio-electronic transistor.”
The machine can distinguish between two smells that are technically mirror images of each other, also known as chiral molecules.  Prior to this development, previously invented machines were not able to match this feat.
This development may allow for more sophisticated biosensors to emerge. But what’s the real world application, looking forward to the future? Well, these machines may be able to detect certain scents that are undesirable under certain laws, like marijuana in the proximity in a place that’s outlawed its use. Furthermore, it may have uses in food production factories to tell if the products are spoiled prior to shipping.
“Now we have done this it will allow much better sensors to be developed and these could have many uses in industry. We shall be able to create biosensors which are accurate enough to be able to tell when food has gone off, or even smell how much pollution is in the atmosphere,”
Persaud said.
While incredibly sensitive, it looks like the research is there to be expanded on and refined for future projects. The machine may not be able to smell in the practical, human-associated definition, but it functions and processes the information better than we can.
Images from Shutterstock.
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Hooking Up The Brain To A Computer: Human Cyborgs Reveal How We Learn

Hooking Up The Brain To A Computer: Human Cyborgs Reveal How We Learn | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it
Hooking the brain up to a computer can do more than let the severely disabled move artificial limbs. It is also revealing the secrets of how we learn

 

When the patient Scheuermann began losing control of her muscles in 1996, due to her genetic disorder—spinocerebellar degeneration— she gave up her successful business as a planner of murder-mystery-themed events. By 2002 her disease had confined her to a wheelchair, which she now operates by flexing her chin up and down. She retains control of the muscles only in her head and neck. “The signals are not getting from my brain to my nerves,” she explains. “My brain is saying, ‘Lift up!’ to my arm, and my arm is saying, ‘I caaaan't heeeear you.’”

 

Yet technology now exists to extract those brain commands and shuttle them directly to a robotic arm, bypassing the spinal cord and limbs. Inside Scheuermann's brain are two grids of electrodes roughly the size of a pinhead that were surgically implanted in her motor cortex, a band of tissue on the surface of the brain that controls movement. The electrodes detect the rate at which about 150 of her neurons fire. Thick cables plugged into her scalp relay their electrical activity to a lab computer. As Scheuerman thinks about moving the arm, she produces patterns of electrical oscillations that software on the computer can interpret and translate into digital commands to position the robotic limb. Maneuvering the arm and hand, she can clasp a bar of chocolate or a piece of string cheese before bringing the food to her mouth.

 

When neuroscientists first set out to develop brain-controlled prostheses, they assumed they would simply record neural activity passively, as if taping a speech at a conference. The transcript produced by the monitored neurons would then be translated readily into digital commands to manipulate a prosthetic arm or leg. “Early on there was this thought that you could really decode the mind,” says neuroscientist Karunesh Ganguly of the University of California, San Francisco.

 

Yet the brain is not static. This extraordinarily complex organ evolved to let its owner react swiftly to changing conditions related to food, mates and predators. The electrical activity whirring inside an animal's head morphs constantly to integrate new information as the external milieu shifts.

 

Ganguly's postdoctoral adviser, neuroscientist Jose M. Carmena of the University of California, Berkeley, wondered whether the brain might adapt to a prosthetic device as well. That an implant could induce immediate changes in brain activity—what scientists call neuroplasticity—was apparent even in 1969, when Eberhard Fetz, a young neuroscientist at the University of Washington, reported on an electrode placed in a monkey's brain to record a single neuron. Fetz decided to reward the animal with a banana-flavored pellet every time that neuron revved up. To his surprise, the creature quickly learned how to earn itself more bites of fake banana. This revelation—that a monkey could be trained to control the firing rate of an arbitrary neuron in its brain—is what Stanford University neuroscientist Krishna Shenoy calls the “Nobel Prize moment” in the field of brain-computer interfaces.

 

Scientists were beginning to discover, however, that neurons can adjust their tuning in response to the software. In a 2009 study Carmena and Ganguly detailed two key ways that neurons begin to learn. Two monkeys spent several days practicing with a robotic arm. As their dexterity improved, their neurons changed their preferred direction (to point down rather than to the right, for example) and broadened the range of firing rates they were capable of emitting. These tuning adjustments gave the neurons the ability to issue more precise commands when they dispatched their missives.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald, Maurizio [ITA]
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AI Has Arrived, and That Really Worries the World's Brightest Minds | WIRED

AI Has Arrived, and That Really Worries the World's Brightest Minds | WIRED | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it
Elon Musk met with ethicists recently at a secret conference to figure out the future of AI. The AI industry is taking off. Should we be scared?

Via Maurizio [ITA]
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New research will help robots know their limits

New research will help robots know their limits | Chasing the Future | Scoop.it
Nanowerk is the leading nanotechnology portal, committed to educate, inform and inspire about nanotechnologies, nanosciences, and other emerging technologies
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